300… 300 banks. You may have heard the story. Walt Disney was turned down by 300 banks and financiers before obtaining the funding for his idea, Disneyland. Disneyland could have been Westfield Anaheim Shopping Mall or Anaheim Auto Mall.
Walt Disney would have just been Walt with the weird last name. He could have been the guy with the mouse drawings for the rest of eternity. For a while, he was just that.
It would have been easy for Walt to say that if 5 banks turned him down, it’s not meant to be. It would have been understandable if he stopped after 20 banks. He might have been scared that after 75 banks, no one would listen to his idea anymore.
After 100 banks turned him down, he kept trying. After 200 banks, he kept trying. He visited 300 banks, and still nothing. But he tried one more time, and he met the right person who believed in his dream enough to help finance his vision.
In 2020, it’s just a story of one man’s tenacity. And because we know the ending, and we see his vision today, we take one man’s dream for granted. There is no way to imagine all that Walt Disney went through for his dream.
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I can guarantee that there were moments where he questioned his dream. “No one is going to want to spend their day on some carnival rides. I’m only one person, I need a corporation behind me. No one is going to care about this stupid mouse that I’ve drawn”.
How easy would it have been to die with that dream? There would be no Disneyland, Disney World, Disney Studios, and all the other companies that stemmed from Disney is Walt stopped trying after bank #233. If his fears would have crept in and overtaken him, the largest entertainers to corporation and tourist attractions that we know today would not exist.
What is the dream that you have in your heart that you are afraid to pursue because we’re afraid that we might fail?